“I am so proud of this group of young ladies,” MA coach Brian Privett said. “We worked really hard to put ourself in position to win. We were blessed with it working out. This group of girls has found a way with the game on the line several times this year.”
The Mustangs (35-1) trailed Deshler (34-1) by eight points heading into the final quarter. Freshmen Destinee McGhee and Jaden Langford played a major role in the win. McGhee finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds and was named tournament MVP.
“It showed our hard work and dedication paid off,” McGhee said of the comeback win. “I’m proud of this team for what we accomplished this season.”
Langford added 14 points and three assists and made two key free throws in the closing seconds to pad the lead to three points. She grabbed a loose ball shortly afterward to help clinch the victory.
“With 6.2 seconds (remaining) we were up by three points and Jasmine Gracie tip the inbounds pass and Jaden Langford jumped on it for a jump ball going our way,” Privett said. “This group really learned how to work this season and got to receive the results.”
Along with McGhee and Langford, sophomore Damayia Calvert is another part of a young core of Mustangs that will return to defend the title next season.
“Winning the championship meant a lot to me because it shows how our team pushed through and fought to achieve our main goal,” Calvert said. “We may have been down but that didn’t stop us it just made us want to fight hard. We play hard as one and came out on top as number one. I’m proud of my team.”
Seniors Victoria Bolin and Meri Wheeler celebrated ending their high school careers as state champions.
“All year we have wanted this for each other and each one of us have made sacrifices for the team and it’s amazing to see my teammates prosper with me and be lucky enough to have something to show for it,” Bolin said.
“Winning the championship was an incredible moment because it really revealed how hardworking and relentless our team was,” Wheeler said. “Each girl had a crucial role and we all committed to doing what we had to do to succeed. It was truly a blessing to be a part of something so special.”
Madison Academy boys
The Madison Academy boys team fell two wins short of the state championship but fought through two overtimes in dropping its state semifinal game to Monroe County 75-66 on Feb. 28.
Collin Blanchard led the Mustangs with 21 points and eight rebounds. Calvin Walker had 17 points, Calvin Bacon added 15 points and Myles Parker finished with nine.
Madison Academy pushed the game into extra periods after trailing 40-29 during the third quarter.
By R. Sirvell Carter
Madison Weekly News